Off to a great start

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Hampered by the lowest inventory in years our local real estate market keeps moving. Lack of available homes though have slowed some areas yet price increases reflect that — at least in the lower priced homes — sellers are in the driver’s seat. We are still showing 17 percent fewer site-built homes available than at this time last year and those homes are selling 41 percent faster. Last year’s average days on market was 220 days. This year the average is 120 days, which means an already low inventory is being absorbed quickly leaving us with only about 3.7 months of available housing in some price ranges.

With inclement weather and low inventory, we were still able to outpace last January’s totals. In 2016, we sold 169 site built houses on lots under 2 acres in size by the end of that first month. This year we managed 208 sales for that same time period with an average price 9 percent higher than last year’s average. While some of our Coeur d’Alene Multiple Listing Service areas showed losses due at least in part to the inventory, we as a whole came out on the plus side.

In Coeur d’Alene, two fewer sales led to a 2 percent decline in activity, but the average price of those 67 sales increased by 14 percent over last year’s average. Homes in that area sold for 99 percent of list price. Post Falls sold 27 percent more homes than last January at an average price that is 11 percent higher. There the average home took just 95 days from list to close and most sold at 100 percent of the asking price. In Hayden with 30 percent fewer listings, sales are more than double last year’s number. Their average price actually decreased by 10 percent compared to last year, but that average sale was at 99 percent of list price.

Rathdrum and Twin Lakes sales by the end of January were off by three sales, but the average sale price was 100 percent of the asking price, unchanged from last year. In the Silver Valley, sales kept pace with last year even with worse weather. To the North we see Bonner and Boundary counties’ inventory is only 9 percent lower than in 2016, yet they nearly doubled their number of sales at an average price 13 percent above last January’s. There homes were on the market an average of 151 days before selling in January at 95 percent of list price.

For homes selling above $300,000, it seems buyers still have some leverage as those homes have excess inventory listed at this time. In categories below that price range there is still a dearth of inventory, which means competition for those homes is fierce and sellers get the benefit of that competition.

Of course weather has not been great and our samples for 2017 are small. But for lack of inventory, this could be another banner year for North Idaho real estate. We will keep you posted. If you want more information about your property, contact your Realtor for a detailed statistical report.

Trust an expert…call a Realtor. Call your Realtor or visit www.cdarealtors.com to search properties on the Multiple Listing Service or to find a Realtor member who will represent your best interests.

Kim Cooper is a real estate broker and the spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors. Kim and the association invite your feedback and input for this column. You may contact them by writing to the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, 409 W. Neider, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815 or by calling (208) 667-0664.

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